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Tufts Mock Trial team has successful weekend

Published: Thursday, February 6, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014 08:02

The Tufts Mock Trial (TMT) team qualified two delegations for next month’s American Mock Trial Association’s Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) where the teams will compete to participate in the National Championship Tournament.

The TMT A- and D-teams competed at a regional tournament in Manchester, N.H., last weekend, and placed second and fifth, respectively, according to TMT co-president and A-Team co-captain Brian Pilchik, a senior.

D-team co-captain Katie Grosch, a sophomore, explained these finishes are a slight improvement over last year’s results.

“Last year we also sent Tufts A and D, and the teams got third and sixth,” Grosch said. “So we each moved up a place.”

Competition was tough, as TMT had the chance to compete against some of the best teams in the tournament, Grosch said.

“There were some really good teams at this regional and both teams were lucky enough to hit some of the top teams in the tournament, so we had some really good rounds, some really good trials,” Grosch said. “Tufts D-team hit Brandeis [University] A, which is the team that ended up winning the tournament.”

Individual team members also received awards, according to Grosch and Pilchik. Grosch and TMT co-president and A-team co-captain Nick Teleky both won All-Region Attorney Awards and sophomore Daniel Hafner, a member of the Tufts D-team, won an All Region Witness Award. 

Tufts participation in the ORCS is not finalized, however, as the TMT B- and C-teams will compete at a different regional qualification tournament on Feb. 22 and 23, according to Pilchik. He is optimistic that they will be successful.

“The B- and C-teams will be competing at the Boston Regional, which is in two or three weeks, and so they’ll be competing against a similar field of the schools in the area,” he said. “Hopefully, they’ll be able to grab two bids out of Boston.”

Teleky explained that TMT is different from other teams in that it is entirely student-run. 

“A lot of other schools have paid coaches or advisers on campus that will help them design their cases or write material,” Teleky said.

Pilchik explained that TMT includes students from each grade level and that this helps keep the team strong.

“All four of our teams are coached and captained by students who have done it before,” he said. “Students who were freshmen maybe last year are now captaining teams to placement victories this year. It’s part of what helps our teams stay engaged in everything that we’re doing.”

According to Teleky, it is uncommon for schools to qualify multiple teams for ORCS and nationals, as Tufts did last year. 

“It’s rare,” Teleky said. “Most schools are able to field one or two really good teams that can get a bid out of regionals, and then maybe one team can get a bid out of ORCS. Last year, we were able to take 100 percent of our teams [and] get them out of regionals, and 100 percent of our teams and get them out of ORCS, which is pretty good.”

According to Teleky, while TMT can qualify four teams for ORCS, only two teams from each school can actually compete at the national tournament.

“What we’ll do after all the regionals are over is we’ll restack the A- and B-teams and send them off to Philadelphia for ORCS,” he said. 

Last year, Tufts had two teams qualify for nationals for the first time, according to Teleky, and the team hopes they will be able to qualify two again this year.

“Last year was the first year we were able to send two teams to nationals,” he said. “We hope to be able to do it again if all goes well.”

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